Nicolas is a first generation college graduate and non-traditional medical student who was born in Los Angeles but moved with his family several times as a child before settling in Santa Maria.  Santa Maria is a growing agricultural town on the Central Coast of California, known for its barbeque and strawberry festivals. Nicolas attended Righetti High School in Santa Maria before attending the University of California, Berkeley.  At UC Berkeley, Nicolas majored in Molecular and Cell Biology and was an integral part of the Biology Scholars Program (BSP), a program determined to promote the success of first generation college students and students from economic, gender, ethnic, and cultural groups historically underrepresented in the biological sciences.  He continued to work in the Bay Area for a few years after graduating while volunteering as a tutor at the Y-Scholars program at the YMCA for students facing economic and educational disparities.  He also continued to compete in several half-ironman distance triathlons and marathons in his free time.

Nicolas is the oldest of his 3 siblings and was raised to have a strong commitment to his family and community.  He is from a mixed Mexican-American family and was brought up by his mother and family who immigrated to the United States from a small ranch in Jalisco, Mexico.  Nicolas appreciates the experiences of growing up in Santa Maria, being a part of the Biology Scholars Program at UC Berkeley, and now joining LMSA at the David Geffen School of Medicine because these experiences strengthened Nicolas’ passion to connect with communities facing economic, educational, and health disparities.

Undergrad Institution: UC Berkeley

Hometown: Santa Maria, CA